Life after municipal politics is not always easy

Contrary to popular belief, being a city councilman does not guarantee a golden future, according to former Calgary councilman Brian Pinkott.

And he says the transition after his term, by choosing or not to be reelected, could be more complicated than anticipated.

There are a lot of elected officials who think that it will open a lot of doors, but it does not happen [comme ça]. The world doesn’t shout, “I want a board consultant or someone who wants to work for our company to do something.”, explains the man who spent 10 years at Calgary City Hall and is now general manager of the Vélo Canada Bike Organization in Winnipeg.

Only four former Calgary council members have been re-elected, including the new mayor, Jyoti Gundyk. This means that, in Calgary only, life in municipal politics has just ended for the 11 people who have given their time to it over the past four or twenty years. Brian Pinkott was there in 2017.

Their lives will be completely changed. It would change to have a job 24/7 trying to find something to do. It goes from the phone that keeps ringing to the point where the world doesn’t even know our phone numberHe remembers.

Former Chancellors are not completely thrown into the void after the expiration of their term of office. In Calgary, they are paid two weeks’ wages for each year of service. For someone like Drew Ferrell, who has served 20 years, that’s just under $87,000 before payroll. They will also receive a pension at retirement age.

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The situation is similar in Edmonton where former advisors receive a three-week stipend for each year of service for a maximum of 36 weeks.

That’s enough to be able to afford a few days away from the political scene, advises Brian Pinkott.

36 hours after I finished being a consultant, I left Calgary for two months. Just walk in, and disconnect from Calgary. And I think it’s very important to do that.

During his tenure on Calgary City Council, Brian Pinkott actively promoted transportation and improved cycling infrastructure for work classes.

Photo: Radio Canada

Because otherwise, if we stay, everything around us continues. Everyone wants to know what we think of the new board of directors, and what we think of what’s happening on the board. And really, it’s not good for new advisors, it’s not good for us.

Share someday, always share

At Canmore, Esmé Comfort made the difficult decision not to run for council on health grounds. Before going to Town Hall, where she completed two semesters, Esmé Comfort was very involved in the school environment of her community, both on the school board. Canadian Rockies only for the organization Canadian Parents of the French Language.

The end of his career in municipal politics does not mean the end of his social commitment. No, I don’t stop because I am, how do you say that, busy bodyShe laughs. It’s always important and I encourage everyone to pay attention to what’s happening in their community because we can influence and it’s essential to tell the people who lead what we want and what we think about decisions.

Arch Valley Regional Housing Establishment Sign.

One of the reasons dear to Esme Comfort’s heart is the access to affordable housing, including seniors, in Bow Valley.

Photo: Radio Canada/Evelyn Aslin

She says the transition from politics is sometimes difficult, because she suddenly becomes less intellectually stimulating. Although, don’t miss out on reading the very technical 100-page docs.

She takes care as much as she can. Netflix! [Je lis] books. I am fascinated by Twitter, Facebook and all media and I always participate. People include me in their plans, their dreams, and all that. So I’m busyas you say.

She thinks you don’t really run away from municipal politics once you leave. If you have a lot of money, go to Hawaii or Dunno. Maybe with Mr. Musk there [dans l’espace]. Otherwise, stay tuned, it helps you stay young and happy.

Brian Pinkott agrees. We present ourselves as elected because we are involved in our community in one way or another. It doesn’t stop, it continues. All the interests I had before my election were the same when I was elected and they are the same now.

It is not uncommon to see people return to politics after a break of one or two periods. In Calgary, two of the defeated former councilors in 2017 returned to the council: Andre Chabot and Richard Putmans. New Edmonton mayor Amarjit Sohey was defeated in federal politics in 2019.

Previous council members would write to us telling us what they thought something should be done and would come to council. [municipal]. Yes, they introduced themselves! There were those who returned, as if they had never left.

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